Welcome to my coffee shop in the cyber neighborhood!

Yes, I’ve been gone a while…a long while. I’ve had some other physical and subsequent mental issues. I don’t really want to talk about them. It enhances the stress and potential depression. I read an article that explains the MIA from blogging probably better than I could.

Isolation: When Our Disease Makes Us Withdraw

So whether it’s starting over or
just continuing like I was never gone…

Welcome to my coffee shop in Cyber Space
Try the pumpkin spice scones!

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Outdated Tradition: Another Way PC Is Justified.

It’s my annual grumble and maybe it’s heightened by the fact that 2015 has actually been a rough year for me. In a year where I’ve been pushed out of the social world by control that’s been taken away from me by MS, wheelchair trouble and complications that keep seeming to push a solution farther away, I’m feeling a little nonexistent. That feeling deepened when we received a stack of cards yesterday and exactly half of them make that same observation; that I’m unimportant.

I understand that there is an ancient tradition that dictates that a woman takes on the identity of a man’s additional appendage and gives up her existence when she marries, but come on, it’s 2015. I took my husband’s last name by choice. I gave up my middle name to took my father’s last name as my new middle name because that was my last name for 42 years. I did that by choice too. It wasn’t the choice of marrying David that changed my last name. It was MY choice to change my middle and last names. I didn’t change my first name and I didn’t change my gender when I got married. (And if I did change my gender I’d have come up with something a lot more creative than changing my name to the same as my husband and my brother.) Yet half of those cards were addressed as if my name had become David or as if I just don’t exist.

I do realize that referring to the couple as “Mr. and Mrs. (man’s first name) (man’s last name)” was how cards were addressed 100+ years ago. Then in 1919 women got their pretty pink voting cards so they could ask their husbands what they should do when they go vote after they wash the breakfast dishes if there was time in between laundry loads. Because why would Mrs. Mike Smith have any thoughts that were different than Mr. Mike Smith? There is only one letter different in their identities.

When women having some rights was new there were a lot of people that weren’t used to women being respected as humans. It’s appalling that there are customs that demean women that are still accepted in 2015. In 2015 “Mr and Mrs. Mike Smith” not only disregards Lisa but it assigns her a new identity as a meaningless extension of Mike. Oh, by the way, Lisa Jones became Lisa Smith when she married Mike Smith. She’s still Lisa; pretty much all that changed was her marital status and last name. She’s even still Ms. Jones professionally. The 2015 greeting card should be addressed to Mr. and Mrs Smith, The Smith Family, Mike and Lisa Smith, just Mike and Lisa or just the Smiths, but in 2015, don’t address it to Mr. and Mrs. Mike Smith! Notice the “Mrs. Mike” sex change in there?

There are social situations where David has friends that don’t remember my name. That’s okay. Casual friends he only sees once in a while and not always with me aren’t expected to remember me. They greet me as “Mrs. David" and in person that’s a compliment because they may not remember my name, but they remember WHO I am to them in that social situation. I have friends I’ve met through my husband that occasionally greet me that way as more a term of endearment. In scrapbook forums where friends have never met him, I often refer to my husband as “Mr. Nani.” But I wouldn’t be pleased to see a “formally addressed” greeting” card that reads “Mrs. and Mr. Nani” any more than I appreciate seeing “Mr. and Mrs. David.” They are exactly the same thing and both are wrong. Calling it “formal” and ducking behind an outdated custom to insult someone is not special or upscale for the holidays. If you want to be special and upscale, give Godiva chocolates or use a gold seal to close the envelopes. Don’t generously hand out unsolicited gender modifications.


seamhead gypsy said...

When I got married I allowed my wife to keep her professional name. She offered to take my last name and I told her that I thought she should remain who she is. After all, she worked extremely hard to accomplish what she did.

So now we get really really long names on the envelope sometimes, spelling out both of our complete names. She doesn't mind being call Mrs. (my last name). And I don't bother to correct anyone who calls me Mr. (her last name). However it does throw me off a bit and sounds kind of weird to me.

I know who you are and won't ever forget it. And don't ever think that you're insignificant to me. Hugs.

Edna B said...

You know, I've never looked at this situation in this way. However, you are right. And I hope I'm not one of the ones who addressed a card to Mr & Mrs David...... If I did, let me apologize now. I usually address my cards to "Lisa & Mike....." (only an example)

The part I don't like is when one spouse dies (the husband) and the mail continues to be addressed to "Mr Mike......". Even with a death certificate, some creditors will not switch the names on the accounts over to the wife's name. I find this quite unsettling.

Aside from all this, how have you been feeling Nani Girl? Has the festiveness of the season been able to chase away the doldrums? Gosh, I hope so.

My DIL Janet has been sick with a bad cold (or flu) and I'm missing her weekly visits. Wednesday nights are our time to get together and have fun. However, I don't want to risk catching whatever she caught, so I told her not to come over until about a week after she is all better. She thinks she's all better when she is still coughing. I disagree. Still, I do miss her.

Wow, do you believe? Santa comes in just two weeks!!!! I love this time of year. I'm almost ready to put the decorations on my little tree. It's taking me a bit longer to get with the spirit this year, but I'm getting there.

My granddaughter just stopped by and gave me a new school photo of her son, Niko. Just one more way I'm blessed.

Well, I'm off to get dressed to go out. You have a beautiful day my friend, hugs, Edna B.

Penney Nile said...

I very much agree with you on the subject of name changes and how marriage seems to make the woman an appendage of the husband. I took my husband's name strictly because no one ever pronounced my maiden name (Tipton, which more often than not became 'Lipton', and as my mother once commented, I was NOT a teabag) correctly. I naturally assumed that my married name (Nile) would be far easier to pronounce, being as there is a massive river in Africa with the same name. Over the years, however, I discover how many different ways that people could incorrectly pronounce even that name. LOL! My husband and I parted company after three years and two sons, but I have kept the name for the past forty years, and now it is as much mine as it was his. So, in the end, I have to repeat Juliet's words, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet." You are who you are, regardless of the name you choose to go by, and no social conventions, however outdated, can change that. You go, girl!